Regulating White Desire

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2014-04-08 21:55Z by Steven

Regulating White Desire

Wisconsin Law Review
Volume 2007, Number 2 (2007)
pages 463-488

Reginald Oh, Professor of Law
Cleveland Marshall College of Law
Cleveland State University

  • Introduction
  • II. Loving v. Virginia
  • III. The Greatest Threat to the Purity of the White Race: Social Equality Through Interracial Marriage
  • IV. Miscegenation and Segregation Laws and the Legal Enforcement of White Racial Endogamy
    • A. The Enforcement of White Endogamy Norms During and After Slavery
    • B. White Racial Endogamy and the Segregation of Public Schools
    • C. The Regulation of White Women’s Desires
  • V. Back to Loving
  • VI. Conclusion

I. INTRODUCTION

In the landmark decision Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court held that laws prohibiting interracial marriages violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because they served the impermissible purpose of maintaining white supremacy. The Commonwealth of Virginia had argued that, because the law equally punished whites and blacks, it did not illegitimately single out African Americans for discriminatory treatment. In striking down the statute, the Court rejected the notion that the equal application of miscegenation laws made them consistent with equal protection.

The Court, however, never adequately addressed an apparent flaw in its reasoning. According to conventional understandings of how white supremacy operates, laws promoting white supremacy are supposed to invidiously discriminate against blacks while benefiting whites. But how can miscegenation laws promote white supremacy and the interests of whites if the laws actually restrict their fundamental right of association and punish them if they cross racial boundaries? Was the Court contending that miscegenation laws promoted white supremacy in spite of their incidental effects on the individual rights of whites?

This Article will argue that miscegenation laws functioned to promote the supremacy of the white race by, paradoxically, deliberately regulating and restricting the liberty of white individuals. Segregationists feared that some whites, particularly women and children, wanted to relate to blacks as social equals. Without legal restrictions on the associational rights of whites, segregationists feared that blacks would gain social equality and freely enter into equal intimate relations—and ultimately marriages—with them. This would result in more interracial families, and inevitably end in the creation of a nation of a “mongrel breed of citizens.”

This Article contends that segregationist justifications for miscegenation and segregation laws shows that those laws effectively imposed a legal duty on whites to adhere to cultural norms of endogamy.  Dominant social groups enforce rules of endogamy—the cultural practice of encouraging people to marry within their own social group—to protect the dominant status of their individual members and of the social group in general. Thus, laws prohibiting interracial marriages regulated white desire in order to protect the dominant status of whites as a group. The Loving Court, therefore, ultimately was correct in declaring that miscegenation laws denied blacks equal protection.

Part II of this Article discusses miscegenation laws and the Loving decision. It contends that the Court understood that miscegenation laws operated to protect white supremacy, but that it failed to adequately explain how such laws did so. Part III argues that the primary rationale used to justify these laws was the protection of the purity of the white race. Part IV will explain these laws’ history and demonstrate that segregationists enacted and supported them to ensure that whites practiced endogamy. Part V concludes by reexamining the Loving decision in light of this Article’s analysis…

Read the entire article here.

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Overturning Anti-Miscegenation Laws: News Media Coverage of the Lovings’ Legal Case Against the State of Virginia

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-10 22:02Z by Steven

Overturning Anti-Miscegenation Laws: News Media Coverage of the Lovings’ Legal Case Against the State of Virginia

Journal of Black Studies
Volume 43, Number 4 (May 2012)
pages 427-443
DOI: 10.1177/0021934711428070

Jennifer Hoewe
College of Communications
Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Associate Professor
School of Journalism
Michigan State University

This study fills a gap in scholarship by exploring historical news coverage of interracial relationships. It examines coverage by The New York Times, Washington Post and Times-Herald, and Chicago Tribune of the progression of the landmark civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court overturned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, which prohibited marriage between any White and non-White person. An analysis of the frames and sources used in these publications’ news stories about the case indicate all three publications’ coverage favored the Lovings.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Posted in Law, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-09 02:21Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Cosponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Law and Public Affairs
102 Jones Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Monday, 2013-12-09, 12:00-13:20 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

The Workshop in American Studies brings together students and faculty from the wide range of departments that contribute to the Program in American Studies. By encouraging a diversity of topics from researchers from a variety of departments, we hope the Workshop highlights the advantages of the “in-between” disciplinary space that American Studies inhabits at Princeton. Our goal is to provide a forum where presenters can receive feedback from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and participants can be exposed to new methodologies and new topics for research. Moreover, we hope to foster a community of advanced undergraduates, graduate students and faculty who share in the common project of researching the American experience.

The format of the workshop is that the speaker introduces the paper for ten minutes and then we open up the floor to questions. Copies of the papers are made available outside the American Studies office, 42 McCosh Hall…

For more information and reservations, click here.

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Loving v. Virginia (No. 395): 206 Va. 924, 147 S.E.2d 78, reversed.

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2013-10-28 02:09Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia (No. 395): 206 Va. 924, 147 S.E.2d 78, reversed.

Waren, C.J., Opinion of the Court, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
388 U.S. 1, Loving v. Virginia
Appeal from the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia
No. 395
Argued: April 10, 1967
Decided: June 12, 1967
Source: Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents a constitutional question never addressed by this Court: whether a statutory scheme adopted by the State of Virginia to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. [n1] For reasons which seem to us to reflect the central meaning of those constitutional commands, we conclude that these statutes cannot stand consistently with the Fourteenth Amendment.

In June, 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court [p3] of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge, and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia. On November 6, 1963, they filed a motion in the state trial court to vacate the judgment and set aside the sentence on the ground that the statutes which they had violated were repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The motion not having been decided by October 28, 1964, the Lovings instituted a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that a three-judge court be convened to declare the Virginia anti-miscegenation statutes unconstitutional and to enjoin state officials from enforcing their convictions. On January 22, 1965, the state trial judge denied the motion to vacate the sentences, and the Lovings perfected an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On February 11, 1965, the three-judge District Court continued the case to allow the Lovings to present their constitutional claims to the highest state court…

…Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.

These convictions must be reversed.

It is so ordered.

Read the entire opinion here.

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What Interracial and Gay Couples Know About ‘Passing’

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2013-08-02 02:43Z by Steven

What Interracial and Gay Couples Know About ‘Passing’

The Atlantic
2013-07-31

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law
University of Iowa

As I awaited news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in the same-sex marriage cases last month, I began to reflect on all of the daily privileges that I receive as a result of being heterosexual—freedoms and privileges that my husband and I might not have enjoyed even fifty years ago. For our marriage is interracial.

Given my own relationship, I often contest anti-gay marriage arguments by noting the striking similarities between arguments that were once also widely made against interracial marriage. “They’re unnatural.” “It’s about tradition.” And my personal favorite, “what about the children?” In response, opponents of same-sex marriage, particularly other blacks, have often told me that the struggles of gays and lesbians are nothing at all like those African Americans (and other minorities) have faced, specifically because gays and lesbians can “pass” as straight and blacks cannot “pass” as white—as if that somehow renders the denial of marital rights in one case excusable and another inexcusable. In both cases, denying the right to marriage still works to mark those precluded from the institution as “other,” as the supposed inferior.

But what does it mean to “pass”? And what effect does passing have, in the longer term, on a relationship and on a person’s psyche?

Until a recent trip with my husband to South Africa, my understanding of the harms caused by passing came primarily through my research on interracial family law, and in particular through the tragic love story of Alice Beatrice Rhinelander and Leonard Kip Rhinelander, to which I devoted the first half of my recent book

Read the entire article here.

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Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68

Posted in Articles, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2013-06-20 21:37Z by Steven

Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68

The New York Times
2008-05-06

Douglas Martin

Mildred Loving, a black woman whose anger over being banished from Virginia for marrying a white man led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning state miscegenation laws, died on May 2 at her home in Central Point, Va. She was 68.

Peggy Fortune, her daughter, said the cause was pneumonia.

The Supreme Court ruling, in 1967, struck down the last group of segregation laws to remain on the books — those requiring separation of the races in marriage. The ruling was unanimous, its opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, who in 1954 wrote the court’s opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring segregated public schools unconstitutional.

In Loving v. Virginia, Warren wrote that miscegenation laws violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause. “We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race,” he said.

By their own widely reported accounts, Mrs. Loving and her husband, Richard, were in bed in their modest house in Central Point in the early morning of July 11, 1958, five weeks after their wedding, when the county sheriff and two deputies, acting on an anonymous tip, burst into their bedroom and shined flashlights in their eyes. A threatening voice demanded, “Who is this woman you’re sleeping with?”

Mrs. Loving answered, “I’m his wife.”

Mr. Loving pointed to the couple’s marriage certificate hung on the bedroom wall. The sheriff responded, “That’s no good here.”

The certificate was from Washington, D.C., and under Virginia law, a marriage between people of different races performed outside Virginia was as invalid as one done in Virginia. At the time, it was one of 24 states that barred marriages between races…

…Mildred Delores Jeter’s family had lived in Caroline County, Va., for generations, as had the family of Richard Perry Loving. The area was known for friendly relations between races, even though marriages were forbidden. Many people were visibly of mixed race, with Ebony magazine reporting in 1967 that black “youngsters easily passed for white in neighboring towns.”

Mildred’s mother was part Rappahannock Indian, and her father was part Cherokee. She preferred to think of herself as Indian rather than black.

Mildred and Richard began spending time together when he was a rugged-looking 17 and she was a skinny 11-year-old known as Bean. He attended an all-white high school for a year, and she reached 11th grade at an all-black school.

When Mildred became pregnant at 18, they decided to do what was elsewhere deemed the right thing and get married. They both said their initial motive was not to challenge Virginia law.

“We have thought about other people,” Mr. Loving said in an interview with Life magazine in 1966, “but we are not doing it just because somebody had to do it and we wanted to be the ones. We are doing it for us.”…

Read the entire obituary here.

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How the ‘Loving’ Case Changed the US

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-06-15 17:39Z by Steven

How the ‘Loving’ Case Changed the US

The Root
2013-06-12

Kelli Goff, Special Correspondent

The legacy of the interracial-marriage case looms large on the 46th anniversary of the landmark decision.

Forty-six years ago, on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia law prohibiting Mildred Jeter Loving, who was black, and Richard Loving, who was white, from marrying because of their race was unconstitutional. Their family name, “Loving,” was so perfect for a case about love that it probably would have been dubbed unbelievable if the story were being pitched as fiction.

The case transformed the landscape of America. In a statement to The Root, Kim Keenan, general counsel for the NAACP, said of Loving v. Virginia’s impact, “Along with other key cases, it brought an end to a separate-and-unequal legally sanctioned way of life in America.”

Below is a list of the top ways that Loving v. Virginia has directly and indirectly changed America.

It gave the United States its first black president. Barack Obama was born in 1961, and the Loving case was decided in 1967, but the Lovings were married in 1958 in Washington, D.C. They were arrested upon returning to their native Virginia for defying the state’s anti-miscegenation statute. Their sentence of one year in prison or the option of leaving their home state set the groundwork for their landmark Supreme Court case. In doing so they made it possible for families like that of President Obama, which consisted of his black African father and white American mother, to legally exist in the state nearest to the city that the president and his family now call home…

Read the entire article here.

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The Truth About Loving v. Virginia and Why it Matters

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United States on 2013-06-15 16:54Z by Steven

The Truth About Loving v. Virginia and Why it Matters

MixedRaceStudies.org
2013-06-12

Steven F. Riley

On June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the landmark civil-rights case Loving v. Virginia that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law (known as the Racial Integrity Act of 1924) was unconstitutional. It did not as some suggest, legalize interracial marriage in the United States. It legalized interracial marriage in the 15 states that still had anti-miscegenation laws that prevented such unions.

Repeating this untruth actually undermines the legacy of our courageous American heroes Mildred and Richard Loving because it was their legal marriage in Washington, D.C. in June 1958 and subsequent prosecution in Virginia that began their saga on the road to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the Lovings did not as some commentators also suggest, “win their right to marry” in their Supreme Court case because they were already married—and were raising three children. To reinforce the point, one need look no further than the now famous message Richard Loving relayed via his lawyers to the bench on April 10, 1967, when he stated simply, “Tell the court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can’t live with her in Virginia.”

Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of the state legislatures that repealed their anti-miscegenation laws before Loving v. Virginia.

Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of the states New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. which never enacted anti-miscegenation laws.

Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of over 100 years of litigation against such laws including the unsuccessful Pace v. Alabama (1883), the War Brides Act (1945), the successful Perez v. Sharp (1948) which legalized interracial marriage in California, and McLaughlin v. Florida (1964) and which abrogated the cohabitation aspect of the Florida’s anti-miscegenation law. These cases and others laid the groundwork for the successful outcome of Loving v. Virginia.

Lastly, repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of centuries of lawful marriages across racial boundaries.

For posts about Loving v. Virginia click here.

©2013, Steven F. Riley

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Marriage, Melanin, and American Racialism

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2013-06-12 03:32Z by Steven

Marriage, Melanin, and American Racialism

Reviews in American History
Volume 41, Number 2, June 2013
pages 282-291
DOI: 10.1353/rah.2013.0048

Heidi Ardizzone, Assistant Professor of American Studies
St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Adele Logan Alexander, Parallel Worlds: The Remarkable Gibbs-Hunts and the Enduring (In)significance of Melanin. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010. 375 pages. Photographs, notes, bibliography, and index.

Fay Botham, Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. 288 pages. Notes, bibliography, and index.

Peggy Pascoe, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Photographs, maps, notes, bibliography, and index.

The development of the multidisciplinary field of Mixed Race Studies over the last few decades has focused new attention on patterns of cross-racial unions and the experiences of people of mixed ancestry in the U.S. and elsewhere. Historians bring to this endeavor a rich understanding of the long history of racial mixing, documenting the tremendous variety of contexts for consensual and nonconsensual interracial sex, the diversity of cultural attitudes and policies towards such relationships, and the resulting spectrums of identity and social standing available to the children, families, and communities that resulted from these unions. While pundits and intellectuals debate the significance of the emergence of multiracial families and identities in the U.S., historians can attest that there is little new here. As George Sánchez has put it from the vantage point of Latino and Latin American history, “Welcome to the Americas!”€  The American past is full of examples of cross-cultural unions, people and communities of mixed ancestry, and marked shifts in racial and ethnic categories in response to demographic, economic, and political changes. So, too, new U.S. scholarship is providing rich contributions to ongoing debates of the meaning of race, racial identity, and racial mixing in the twentieth century and beyond.

The three scholars considered here span this latest surge in U.S. historical studies of racial mixing and mixedness. Adele Logan Alexander is a pioneer in the field. Parallel Worlds: The Remarkable Gibbs-Hunts and the Enduring (In) significance of Melanin joins her previous books in focusing on communities and families of mixed—€”primarily black and white—€”ancestry. In her latest offering, Alexander rescues to historical memory the fascinating political careers of Ida Gibbs (1862-1957) and William Henry Hunt (1863-1951), whose activist and diplomatic work, respectively, brought them into close, if sometimes ambivalent, connection with African American and Pan-African communities in the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century. Like Alexander’s earlier works, Parallel Worlds spans multiple methodologies, this time offering a rich entre into an international world of shifting racial identities and political loyalties. Faye Botham’s Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law, on the other hand, is her first academic book, reworking a religious studies dissertation. Botham identifies a large and significant gap in historians’€™ collective approach to interracial marriage and its accompanying concerns with racial identity and categorization; social constructions of gender, race, and sexuality; and civil rights. Her work models a new direction of inquiry into the role of religious ideology and influence on what Peggy Pascoe calls miscegenation law, particularly the distinctive Catholic doctrine on marriage as a sacrament. In turn, Pascoe’€™s research for her recent publication spans this new age of historical scholarship. Begun in the early 1990s with a few pieces published as articles, the long-awaited and much celebrated What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America is a multilayered cultural, social, and legal history of post-Civil War legal prohibitions against interracial marriages and the enduring significance of the laws.

The books by Botham and Pascoe share an interest in legal and cultural sanctions against interracial marriage, but each author comes to the subject from vastly different training and experience. (Pascoe was a member of Botham’s dissertation committee, and that difference in academic maturity is evident in their works as well.) Botham’€™s analysis of the impact of American Catholic and Protestant theology on race and interracial marriage is strongest in her treatment of the Perez v. Lippold case (better known as Perez v. Sharp), which ultimately overturned California’s anti-intermarriage laws. Botham is especially interested in the longer history of Catholic influence on both Perez and the later Loving v. Virginia case, which respectively offer evidence of American Catholics’€™ support for and opposition to interracial marriage. The prominence of Catholics in bringing and opposing these legal challenges to laws against interracial marriage is most central to her analysis. But she returns to a focused treatment of the Perez case several…

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Loving Day Flagship Celebration 2013

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2013-05-21 21:09Z by Steven

Loving Day Flagship Celebration 2013

Solar 1
East River Waterfront at East 23rd Street
New York, New York
2013-06-15, 15:00-19:00 EST (Local Time)

LovingDay.org
2013-05-21

For more information, click here.

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